follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

uncertain

[uhn-sur-tn] /ʌnˈsɜr tn/
adjective
1.
not definitely ascertainable or fixed, as in time of occurrence, number, dimensions, or quality.
2.
not confident, assured, or free from hesitancy:
an uncertain smile.
3.
not clearly or precisely determined; indefinite; unknown:
a manuscript of uncertain origin.
4.
vague; indistinct; not perfectly apprehended:
an abstruse novel with uncertain themes.
5.
subject to change; variable; capricious; unstable:
a person of uncertain opinions.
6.
ambiguous; unreliable; undependable:
Her loyalties are uncertain.
7.
dependent on chance or unpredictable factors; doubtful; of unforeseeable outcome or effect.
8.
unsteady or flickering, as light; of changing intensity or quality.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see un-1, certain
Related forms
uncertainly, adverb
uncertainness, noun
Synonyms
1. unsure, unpredictable. Uncertain, insecure, precarious imply a lack of predictability. That which is uncertain is doubtful or problematical; it often involves danger through an inability to predict or to place confidence in the unknown: The time of his arrival is uncertain. That which is insecure is not firm, stable, reliable, or safe, and hence is likely to give way, fail, or be overcome: an insecure foundation, footing, protection. Precarious suggests great susceptibility to failure, or exposure to imminent danger: a precarious means of existence. 3. unsettled, undetermined. 8. irregular.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for uncertain
  • It is uncertain how soon or how fast the oil will start gurgling again.
  • Yet decision makers insist that they bring clarity when information is scarce and outcomes uncertain.
  • Also known as pie cherry, this species is of uncertain origin.
  • That, it turns out, is a scientifically uncertain and even controversial question.
  • Ida's significance was described in no uncertain terms as the missing link between us humans and our primate kin.
  • When people face an uncertain situation, they don't carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics.
  • The long-term outlook in their home market-which still accounts for about two-thirds of output-is uncertain.
  • Whether extinct dinosaurs had the same physiology as living mammals and birds remains uncertain.
  • Cognitive biases are a useful mechanism for dealing with uncertain but potentially important information.
  • Neither demand was realistic: the way ahead is too uncertain.
British Dictionary definitions for uncertain

uncertain

/ʌnˈsɜːtən/
adjective
1.
not able to be accurately known or predicted: the issue is uncertain
2.
when postpositive, often foll by of. not sure or confident (about): a man of uncertain opinion
3.
not precisely determined, established, or decided: uncertain plans
4.
not to be depended upon; unreliable: an uncertain vote
5.
liable to variation; changeable: the weather is uncertain
6.
in no uncertain terms
  1. unambiguously
  2. forcefully
Derived Forms
uncertainly, adverb
uncertainness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for uncertain
adj.

c.1300, "of indeterminate time or occurrence," from un- (1) "not" + certain (adj.). Meaning "not fully confident" is recorded from late 14c. (implied in uncertainty). Related: Uncertainly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with uncertain

uncertain

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for uncertain

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for uncertain

11
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with uncertain

Nearby words for uncertain